You're likely to hear more screams than laughs at theme parks. Between roller coasters and epic story-based attractions where things typically go terribly wrong (such as Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts), the focus is generally on thrills. But there are a few rides and attractions that go more for the funny bone than the adrenaline gland. Most of them are based on well-known movies or TV shows. Let's run down the funniest theme park rides and attractions.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Located in Tomorrowland at Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor uses the same real-time animation concept developed for Turtle Talk with Crush. And like that show, its success largely depends on the improv abilities of the actor portraying the animated character, in this case the one-eyed emcee, Mike Wazowski.
As the Monsters, Inc. movie revealed, the monsters in Monstropolis discovered that human laughs can be converted into more energy than screams to power their city. So, they built the Laugh Floor, a comedy club for human audiences. The show is designed to be funny. (The name of the attraction includes the word, "laugh," after all.) But the jokes can often make you groan more than laugh.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Another motion simulator ride (Universal really loves screen-based attractions), Race Through New York at Universal Studios Florida pits the audience in a no-holds-barred race through, above, and below Manhattan against Jimmy Fallon and his "Tonight Rider" car. Fallon plays multiple characters and many of his sidekicks, including Higgins, Hashtag the Panda, and the Ew! stepdad, Gary, are along for the ride. The attraction is funny, but the pre-show, which includes live performances by the Ragtime Gals can be uproarious.
The Lego Movie 4D
The Lego Movie was a big hit and riotously funny. The same creative team developed The Lego Movie 4D, which is shown at Legoland Florida and Legoland California. Like the film, the attraction works on two levels: Adults will love the pop culture references and sly, sarcastic humor; kids will enjoy the slapstick antics and fast-paced adventure. Both children and grownups will roar with laughter.
Turtle Talk with Crush
Located at Epcot and Disney California Adventure, Turtle Talk with Crush is somewhat under the radar. But if you find yourself at either park, you should seek it out—especially if you have young children. Using real-time animation, the Finding Nemo character interacts with the audience.
Young children generally buy into the theme park trickery; they really think they are chatting it up with a talking turtle that lives under the sea. Adults, meanwhile are simultaneously baffled and charmed by the presentation. Depending on the improvisational skills of the person playing Crush (which are typically quite good), the show can be very funny.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
With the pill-shaped, nonsense-talking Minions, the Universal parks in Hollywood and Orlando have silly, lovable characters that rival Mickey and the rest of the Disney gang. In Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, which is a motion simulator ride, Gru, the bad guy with a heart of gold, aims to transform visitors to his lab (that'd be us) into Minions. This results in an immersive, mildly thrilling, and surprisingly tender attraction that is above all else, wildly funny. Pay close attention during the two pre-show presentations, and you'll be rewarded with some big chuckles.
Kermit tries to maintain order during his troupe's attempt to produce a 3-D film. In typical Muppet fashion, however, it all devolves into a chaotic, but funny mess. It is located at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure. Look for Statler and Hilton as they relentlessly heckle the proceedings. The finale features a patriotic number staged by Sam Eagle that figuratively and literally bombs.
The Simpsons Ride
Go to Krustyland aboard this motion simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood. You'll experience Krusty's Thrilltacular, Upsy-Downsy, Teen-Operated Roller Coaster and other rides at the clown's dubious and decidedly unsafe theme park. The Simpsons Ride is the highlight of Springfield, an entire land devoted to the iconic TV characters. The ride and the land do a great job tapping into the show's idiosyncratic humor.